Roofing Contractors

Hiring roofing contractors is a big first step in any roofing project. So how do you begin the process of hiring roofing contractors? If you’re not sure what to look for in a contractor or how to go about the process, be sure to follow our step-by-step guide to roof replacement. A bit of upfront leg work will help you find a contractor that best suits your needs.

“When it comes to roofing, hiring experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy contractors is a must. Since most homeowners are not able or willing to go up on the roof themselves to inspect a finished job, it is important that you hire a contractor that you can trust to get the job done right.”

10 Step Guide to Hiring Roofing Contractors

1. Find Qualified Contractors
The best way to find a quality roofing contractor is to ask for referrals from neighbors, family and friends. Anyone who has ever had their roof done will have a definite positive or negative take on the people who completed the job. Ask around to people you know have done work on their roofs. If they have similar roofing materials to yours, that’s even better. If you don’t have anyone to ask, check with other home improvement contractors you know to see who they recommend, or check at the local home improvement store for recommendations.

2. Call And Pre-Screen
You don’t need to meet with every roofing contractor you hear about. The best way to narrow down your search is to call each contractor and do a preliminary screening. Ask them some basic questions such as how long they have been in business, whether they have experience on similar types of roofs that you have, whether they are licensed and insured, and how they handle any aspects of a roofing project that you may be interested in. By calling potential contractors first, you’ll get some of the basic questions out of the way and will also get a sense of how easy the contractor is to deal with.

3. Do 2 Or 3 Face-To-Face Meetings
Once you’ve narrowed down your selection, it is important to meet face-to-face. This is your chance to discuss your project in more detail, find out about their qualifications, and talk about what they can offer you. Make sure they are knowledgeable about your particular style and desired roofing material. Discuss details such as product types and grades, flashing, vents, or anything else that you think is important. If they are offering specific products, have them show you samples, styles and colors.

4. Ask A Set Of Questions
In addition to going over specifics of your roofing job and seeing samples, there are some basic questions you should ask each contractor. Some you may have already had answered during your phone interview. If not, find out about their experience, how long they’ve been in business, and what type of roofing jobs they have completed. Ask about licensing and insurance. Ask who is doing the work. If not the owner, find out if there will be a supervisor on site during the project. Find out whether they supply the roofing products or if they will install roofing products that you purchase. If they only use a specific brand or style of roofing products, you’ll want to later do some research on their reputation. You should also find out if they have been trained specifically by the manufacturer to install the particular products. Ask about warranty information. Inquire about payment terms and financing. Get information about previous jobs to use for references.

5. Get A Detailed Estimate
Once the contractor has looked at your roof carefully, he should be able to give you a detailed bid that should include all the labor required to finish the roofing repair or install, as well as any materials needed. Roofing estimates should also include any fees for removal and disposal of trash and should include information about timing of the project and payment schedules. Not only will a detailed bid help you to compare roofing contractors, but it will give you some insight into whether one contractor is trying to talk you into doing something you don’t need. For example, if two contractors tell you that your roof can easily be repaired and the next one tells you that you need a whole new roof (with a much larger price tag!) you’ll have to wonder who you can trust.

6. Compare The Bids
Once you have each contractor’s bid, you can compare them to help you determine who to use. Hiring roofing contractors should not just come down to lowest roof replacement cost. You can use the bids to see if each contractor is in line with the going rate, but you should also trust your instincts as to who you think you can trust to do the best job. If the contractor you like is not the lowest priced, you can use the other bids as a way to try to get him to lower his price further.

7. Research Roofing Materials
If the roofing contractor is also supplying the roofing materials, you should do some research into the quality of the materials they use. Go online to check into the manufacturer and read reviews on durability, maintenance, etc. Check out the roof warranty and find out what, if anything, can void the warranty.

8. Check References & Licensing
Before hiring roofing contractors, it is also important to do some further research into the contractor or company you are considering. Check with any references they have provided. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been lodged against them. Research whether their licensing and insurance is in place and up to date. Professional roofing companies should carry adequate workers compensation insurance, as well as sufficient liability insurance – and they should be willing to share that info with you.

9. Select A Contractor & Negotiate
After doing your homework, it’s time for the final stage in hiring roofing contractors, Select the contractor that you have the most confidence in. Make sure you like the terms of his bid and work agreement. If not, now is the time to try to do some further negotiating. You can use other bids to try to get the selected contractor to lower his price. You should also work out project start dates, how long the project should take, and what the payment schedule will be.

10. Sign Contract
The process of hiring roofing contractors is now just about over! All you need to do now is to sign the contract and get ready for work on your roof to begin!